Despite the tragic events in Gaza and the tension in the Middle East, the Episcopal Commission for Pilgrimages of the Assembly of Catholic Ordinaries in the Holy Land encourages pilgrims to continue to come to the Holy Land and not to cancel their travels.
Do not be afraid to come and visit our Mother Church, the itinerary of your pilgrimage is secure and far-removed from dangers.
Pilgrim-friends, do not forsake the Holy Land. You are always welcome here and by all: Jews, Christians and Muslims because the pilgrim is a person of peace and prayer. We believe that pilgrimage to the Holy Land contributes to peace and is a sign of solidarity for the people of the Holy Land who need to feel that they are not abandoned.
The Ministers of Tourism in Israel and Palestine will endeavor to welcome pilgrims to the Holy Land.
As of today, 3.3 million tourists and pilgrims have come to Israel, 60% are Christians. In 2011, one million visitors went to Bethlehem.